On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

As Requested ...

-----MEETING REPORT (DRAFT)----

Marco Solar-United Energy Technology

Director Gary Elliot

------Monday, December 22, 2008, 10 AM-12 N-----

814 East Elkcam Circle, Marco Island, FL 34145
Ph: 239-389-5657 E-mail: info@marcosolar.com


Reporting: Sayre Uhler, 540 Tiger Tail Court; Ph: 389-2193;
E-mail: ismu@aol.com
Attending: Robert Brown, 473 Joy Circle West; Ph: 389-6799;
E-mail: rcbmb@charter.net
William McMullan, 1250 Collier Blvd. N; Ph: 394-8953;
E-mail: billthemousepad.net
John Owshanik, 800 Plantation Court; Ph: 393-0916;
E-mail: joshanik@comcast.net


Page 1 of 4 DRAFT

1. Mr. Elliot reviewed the technical aspects of new solar energy applications now appropriate for utilization in Florida environments based on research and applications from Israel and Germany and elsewhere, including the states of New Jersey and California. Particularly, Mr. Elliot reviewed the new flexible fiber solar fabrications of less that 1/8th inch thickness now rapidly replacing the heavy glass-sealed panels mounted on weight-bearing grids which add to significantly higher erection, installation and maintenance costs for both commercial and residential producers-consumers of on-site solar power “farms”. Thus, modern reductions in solar energy costs appear to have been significantly achieved with the advent of new solar fabric applications that require neither substantial and costly up-front capital investments nor sustained, daily maintenance expenses now recorded at contemporary solar energy sites. Either way, solar energy is a very marketable commodity compared to contemporary energy inputs ranging from petro, coal, bio, wind, tide, nuclear, et al.

2. Mr. Elliot discussed emerging capital investment opportunities based on new state and federal tax incentives. Also, significant to investors and contractors alike, are the increasing availabilities of grants, subsidies and discounts offered by established commercial-residential energy companies as well as other newly organized public and private solar energy-power manufacturers, providers and distributors. Mr. Elliot stated that Marco Solar-United Energy Technology can design, construct and operate an efficient and cost effective solar “farm” on K-Tract for the Collier County Board of Education which will ultimately realize energy savings of $2 million or more in the annual budgets of our Barfield Elementary and Charter Schools. Additionally, such a solar “farm” site could offer excess solar energy to other school facilities throughout Collier County and even to other public/private consumers at energy market rates.

3. Mr. Elliot shared preliminary engineering drawings and site construction schematics of a proposed 4-acre solar “farm” on K-Tract for the Collier County Board of Education. Located at the Tiger Tail Court’s north-side quadrant adjacent to the “sanitary” sewer lift station at Crescent Street, the solar construction plan consists of a 5-foot maximum elevated track tipped at 25 degrees, with a ground level-elevation height ranging from 0 to 5 feet and with a circular track radius of 400-500 feet. QE, our comprehensive general sewer-road contractor, provided architectural plans for the elevated track system.
Page 2 of 4 DRAFT

1. Because of the close proximity of existing power lines, solar power to be generated, including any excess, would be directly distributed to Marco Island’s Barfield Elementary and Charter Schools and transmitted to other Collier County school sites and facilities. Again, even other public-private energy users on Marco Island could consume-for-pay any available excess energy produced by the K-Tract solar farm installation.

2. Mr. Elliot then led discussions about construction site alternatives for the solar farm other than the K-Tract. He identified Marco Island public land holdings at Mainsail; adjacent Executive Airport-Marriott properties; the water reserve basin along State Route 951; and other appropriate sites near Goodland and off-island along US Route 41.

3. A general discussion ensued with attendees directing a host of questions and comments to Mr. Elliot focusing on: (a) The solar farm location; (b) School district needs and rationales and other market considerations; (c) Implementation designs; (d) Public vs. private capital investment incentives; (e) Taxpayer costs and expenses; (f) Site alternatives; (g) Organizational responsibilities and ownership liabilities; (h) Other K-Tract land uses including recreation, conservation and residential serene park considerations; (i) Public vs. private sector competition; (j) Public contract and bid regulations; (k) Zoning and overall land use restrictions; (l) Alternative solar farm sites; and (m) Primary goals and motivations of initial investors/principals in Marco Solar and United Energy Technology.

4. With an air of urgency, the attendees unanimously concluded that the following governmental agencies and citizen groups must address openly and thoroughly the needs, purposes, motivations, and goals of Marco Solar and United Energy Technology relevant to the needs, purposes, motivations and goals of: (a) The Collier County Board of Education; (b) Marco Island’s City Council, including its important Planning, Land Use and Zoning Boards; (c) Other critical Marco Island Citizen Advisories such as the Beautification and Parks/Recreation Committees; and (d) Concerned Conservation-Land Use- Environmental Protection Agencies and their advocates. Without any hesitation and further delays, the enormous impact of the solar farm on our significantly unique, pristine and peerless residential Beach 11 and the Tiger Tail-Collier Bay neighborhoods surrounding and adjacent to the K-Tract site with its ecologically fragile environs must immediately command the attention of all citizens and taxpayers as well as appropriate government agencies---local, county and state.

5. In conclusion, regarding the future of K-Tract, a strong consensus of the attendees called for immediate public debate and open, free and unimpeded discourse in public arenas hosted by our City Council and School Board thoroughly covered by our public press and other media outlets. Briefly, the following interrogatives reveal and define priority issues of any official agenda focusing on the current and future use of the K-Tract by and for the Collier County School Board and the Marco Island City Council. To wit:

1. Who are the principals in Marco Solar-United Energy Technology? 2. Is Marco Solar-United Energy Technology now or is it planning to become a public company or a subsidiary of a public company? 3. What is the legal status of K-Tract based on the original Mackle-Deltona deed provisions defining dedicated public sites before 1997’s city-hood?Page 3 of 4 DRAFT
E. Since city-hood, has the purpose and usage of the K-Tract changed? If so, when, how and by whom did such changes take place? F.On what legal basis today does the Collier County School Board claim exclusive acquisition of and power over K-Tract’s status, usages, rights, liabilities, zoning variances, and disposition? G . How do Marco Island citizens-residents and others become investors in this and other Marco Solar-United Energy Technology solar ventures? H . Are any present or former Marco Island City Councilors involved with the operations and poposals of the Marco Solar farm at the K-Tract site? I. Are any present or former Marco Island Planning Board members actively involved with the operations and proposals of the Marco Solar farm at the K-Tract site? J. What “disinformation” and “misinformation” allegations and other hubris might we expect from Marco Solar officials as critics of and dissidents to the K-Tract solar farm attempt to robustly debate and openly discuss the consequences of a solar farm in one of Marco Island’s prime, fully developed single-home neighborhoods? K. Just where in Florida or, in fact, in the whole wide-world, are solar farms erected and currently operational smack in the middle of fully-developed single-home sites? L. Is it true that former and current Marco Island City Councilors have enlisted private donors to build a sports complex with pools, playing fields, bleachers, parking areas and lights on the K- Tract. Is Marco Solar supporting such a intrusive and expansive development for the K-Tract? M . Also disclosed is a concerted drive by Marco Island’s Optimists Club to actively support the building of such a comprehensive K-Tract sports complex (K above). Is Marco Solar involved with such development in addition to its solar farm initiative on the K-Tract N. Is the K-Tract solar farm project a biddable contract for the Collier County Board of Education? When will complete spec-bid documents be advertised as a public capital project using tax monies? What other solar-renewable energy contractors and providers are currently engaged in the bidding process? O. In the absence of public disclosures and transparent negotiations and decision-making by the Collier Board of Education, on what legal basis can the Collier Board of Education award a performance contract to Marco Solar without any open bidding? Is this pending K-Tract contract with Marco Solar just another outrageous “most responsive” bid contract compared to what is normally and legally required as being the “most qualified, lowest” bid contract award from established and certified solar energy producers? P . A cursory visit to the current Barfield Elementary and Charter Schools’ sites will make one wonder why the Collier County Board of Education does not fully utilize those expansive sites for its solar farm. Not only are there flat, elevated roofs in abundance, but high power transmission lines are conveniently found close by while large, expansive ground sites behind cyclone fences, surround parking facilities and marvelously landscaped and clearly delineated “green” areas not devoted to either educational purposes or school support missions. That natural school site offers much better cost-saving opportunities for a solar farm when compared to the K-Tract. Has Marco Solar offered its initial design services to this most appropriate site whose residential neighborhood has been long established and, even today, recognized as Marco Island’s historic and premier “school” site especially for families with school-age children ?Page 4 of 4 DRAFT


L. Likewise, with hundreds of millions of tax dollars invested in new public buildings
and other public works projects in the past 6 years or so, why has the City of
Marco Island been so remiss and, indeed, derelict in building renewable energy
facilities and providing modern energy applications, including solar? How come,
as in other communities throughout today’s energy-conscious world, our new
police-fire-community halls and newly renovated City Hall and Mackle Park with
expansive roof areas and large, under-utilized surrounds completely lack any
renewable source-energy production capabilities what-so-ever? To the contrary,
the extravagance of street lighting along Collier Boulevard continues as a
classic civic embarrassment to all citizens concerned with energy costs and
conservation. Also under question, as another embarrassing civic dereliction by
our government today, should be the City’s construction of huge storage tanks
without any solar panels as seen throughout the USA and elsewhere in our oil-
dependent contemporary world.
Q. New construction in the private sector on Marco Island also appears
to be led by completely illiterate builders, developers and investors when
measured against the reality of new construction fields based on renewable
energy and critical conservation principles both here and abroad.
R. Last, but definitely not least, what will be the ultimate disposition of the existing
Bald Eagles-Ground Owls refuge and conservation programs now in place on
the K-Tract?
n.b.----This draft is one man’s impressions and views. It should be refined, edited and corrected by those attending the December 22 meeting wherever general accord is not obvious or is questionable. Please E-mail any changes-additions to all recipients of this E-mail. Please feel free to share this DRAFT with any concerned citizen. Have a Happy New Year.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2008

You might think that after all the shameful capitulations made by the government during the ups and downs of their negotiations with the maphia [syndicate], going so far as to allow humble, honest public servants to begin working full-time for that criminal organization, you might think that, morally speaking, they could sink no lower. Alas, when one advances blindly across the boggy ground of realpolitik, when pragmatism takes up the baton and conducts the orchestra, ignoring what is written in the score, you can be pretty sure that, as the imperative logic of dishonor will show, there are still, after all, a few more steps to descend.

-- José Saramago

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

METHODS OF INVESTIGATING MUNICIPAL CORRUPTION


METHODS OF INVESTIGATING MUNICIPAL CORRUPTION

AGENCIES RESPONSIBLE FOR INVESTIGATING MUNICIPAL CORRUPTION ARE EXAMINED, INCLUDING LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES, GRAND JURIES, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, AND PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS.

FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES CAN BE AUTHORIZED TO INVESTIGATE MUNICIPAL ACTIVITIES IF VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL STATUTES SUCH AS INTERSTATE COMMERCE ARE SUSPECTED. A LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION DEFINES A COMMITTEE'S SCOPE, DECISION MAKING POWERS, PERIOD OF OPERATION AND FUNDING. CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES CAN BE EMPOWERED TO HOLD HEARINGS AND ISSUE SUPOENAS. A WITNESS CAN REFUSE TO TESTIFY WHEN ANSWERS MIGHT BE INCRIMINATING BUT COULD FACE FEDERAL PERJURY CHARGES. A STATE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE CAN BE ESTABLISHED IN A SIMILAR MANNER TO INVESTIGATE A MUNICIPALITY'S ADMINISTRATION OF STATE LAWS, ALTHOUGH POLITICAL ALLIANCES BETWEEN STATE AND MUNICIPAL OFFICERS MIGHT HINDER ITS EFFECTIVENESS. THE PRIVILEGE AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION IS AVAILABLE IN ALL STATES, BUT PERJURY SANCTIONS VARY. THE INVESTIGATIVE AUTHORITY OF A CITY COUNCIL DEPENDS ON ITS LEGISLATIVE CHARTER AND FREQUENTLY EXTENDS ONLY TO MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES. TIME, MONEY, AND STAFFING REQUIREMENTS FOR AN INVESTIGATION ARE DETERMINED BY COUNCIL MEMBERS, SOME OF WHOM MAY BE CORRUPT. A MUNICIPAL COMMITTEE CANNOT HOLD HEARINGS, ENFORCE SUPOENAS, OR GRANT IMMUNITY UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE. GRAND JURIES ARE LIMITED TO CRIMINAL MATTERS UNLESS GRANTED SPECIAL AUTHORITY; TERMS ARE SET BY LAW AND USUALLY FOLLOW THAT OF THE COURT. MUNICIPAL CORRUPTION CAN BE INVESTIGATED INDIRECTLY BY FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES SUCH AS THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. STATE ATTORNEY GENERALS HAVE INVESTIGATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES, BUT THEIR STAFFS OFTEN HAVE POLITICAL TIES WITH SUSPECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS AND DEPEND ON LOCAL POLICE FOR ASSISTANCE. CITY CRIME COMMISSIONS, PROFESSIONAL GROUPS, AND NEIGHBORHOOD COMMITTEES HAVE SUCCESSFULLY UNCOVERED MUNICIPAL CORRUPTION, RELYING ON INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATORS AND CITIZEN SUPPORT. ONCE CORRUPTION IS DISCOVERED, SEVERAL CORRECTIVE ACTIONS CAN BE TAKEN: ELECTION OF A REFORM TICKET, CRIMINAL PROSECUTION, OR REMOVAL FROM OFFICE BY EXECUTIVE ORDER. A RECURRENCE OF CORRUPTION CAN BE PREVENTED BY FORMAL LEGISLATION AND PRIVATE VIGILANCE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.


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Public corruption is one of the FBI’s top investigative priorities—behind only terrorism, espionage, and cyber crimes. Why? Because of its impact on our democracy and national security. Public corruption can affect everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected…to verdicts handed down in courts…to the quality of our roads and schools. And it takes a significant toll on our pocketbooks, too, siphoning off tax dollars. Learn more here about our national program and local investigations.

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